Friday, September 26, 2008
Milwaukee, Wisconsin has long been known as the home of the Cunninghams and Arthur Fonzarelli, the home of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and the beer capital of the world.
Tomorrow, albeit temporarily, Milwaukee adds another title: Soccer Blogging Capital of America. By sheer coincidence, at least six of America's soccer bloggers will converge on the Cream City.
Tom Dunmore of Pitch Invasion, Bruce McGuire of DuNord, Kenn Tomasch of Kenn.com, Jim Kogutkiewicz and Colin Deval of Match Pricks and your truly will all be in Milwaukee.
All except Kenn will be at The Highbury Pub to watch the morning's Premier League and Bundesliga matches. Kenn will unfortunately miss the morning festivities as he will be in Madison to broadcast the University of Wisconsin vs. Michigan men's soccer match for the Big 10 Network. i will get a chance to see the Fire's former play by play man tomorrow night as we enjoy Milwaukee's best stuffed pizza at Tenuta's.
Additional incentive to stop by the Highbury and meet the bloggers is included in the photo above of the Highbury crew tailgating at Toyota Park.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The player allocation process has been fascinating. Part Match.com, part medical school national matching day and part MLS SuperDraft.
i think the results are going to be remarkably successful in terms of matching up player preferences, team preferences and balancing competitive and marketing issues.
It is nearly an impossible task, but WPS and the USWNT are managing to give almost all of the teams their preferred top player and most of the players their preferred market. The official announcement will be tomorrow (Tuesday) at 12:30 pm ET and can be followed via Twitter as described on the WPS social network site. BTW, i've started Tweeting recently and have found it a useful way to keep up to date with people. If you'd like to follow me on Twitter by texting 'follow Peter40' to 40404 to receive my updates.
As has been said about the legislative process and sausage-making, the player allocation shouldn't be seen close-up. The process may not have been the smoothest, but result is very good. Congratulations and thank you to WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci, USWNT representative John Langel (both pictured above) and everyone else who is participating in this process.
Friday, September 12, 2008
The Chicago Red Stars had a staff outing to the White Sox game last night. It was another good bonding experience that helps make our off the field team as much of a team as we expect our on the field team to be.
Thanks to John Daley, we were able to sit kinda close to the field. From there we were able to see inside the Sox dug out and witness Mark Buehrle throwing a cup of water at Ronnie Woo Woo who invaded the south side! Ronnie's no Andy the Clown. Buehrle's my new hero.
Monday, September 8, 2008
My Red Stars co-worker Pat McNamara posted a great blog today about his life in soccer. i worked with Pat at the Chicago Fire and am very fortunate that he accepted the Red Stars Director of Corporate Partnerships position recently. He is one of the best sellers of the professional soccer experience i have ever known.
In his post, Pat talks about how soccer has engulfed his life. i strongly believe that hiring people like Pat is a critical part of being successful. i've always called it hiring talented, hardworking people with good character. Someone today referred to it as "I.C.E." - hiring intelligent, competent, energetic people.
In either case, it is the passion for the job that makes good employees great employees. Hiring people who know soccer and have a passion for the sport results in a better office environment and a more effective and harder working staff. Hard work and passion means nothing if they're not also talented and have good character though.
One of the real differences in pro soccer administration now compared to twenty years ago when i started in pro soccer is the depth of the front office talent pool. When i started with the Milwaukee Wave in 1987, there were only one or two sports administraion programs in the country, fewer than 100 experienced soccer executives and less than a million soccer players. Now there are hundreds of collegiate sports admin programs, thousands of experienced soccer executives and tens of millions of current or former soccer players. That all increases the pool of talented, hard working people with good character who are qualified to work in pro sports administration.
The Chicago Red Stars are the beneficiaries of that progress.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Yesterday was a great day. Here's a summary:
* Watched various You Tube videos including Mr. Magoo Meets Frankenstein!
* Played my friend Mike in a fiercely competitive game of WIFFLE® ball on a self made diamond behind Riverside-Brookfield High School's stadium. i used to be pretty good at WIFFLE® ball, but the years have not been kind to my pitching arm nor my hand eye coordination. This was more of a game of survival than a pitchers duel, but i managed to win 1-0 with a final inning run-scoring double that dribbled up to the railroad box car in left.
* The Globe Pub for European WCQs. Intended game was England vs. Andorra, but ended up saving the $20 and hanging in the front room with friends watching Germany kill Liechtenstein and Andy Murray battle Rafael Nadal.
* Drove to Toyota Park to open up the Red Stars office for the first Red Stars supporters organizational meeting. It's important that the supporters develop organically and independent of front office influence, so i didn't sit in on the meeting, though i did come in for a few minutes of Q&A.
* Hosted Red Stars tailgate party outside the Toyota Park Annex. The tailgate party prior to the Fire vs. New York Red Bulls game was very successful - too successful. TP management came out and asked us to refrain from future tailgates due to the size of this one and the proximity to the parking lot entrance. We'll work with TP to see if we can start them up at a different location in the future in order to address their concerns.
* Watched the Fire extract a bit more revenge from Juan Carlos Osorio and the Red Bulls 1-0 from the Red Stars suite. In the suite were several Red Stars investors and a star forward interested in playing for the Red Stars. i can't say who it is, but she's not from the United States and we're interested in her as well.
* Visited the IWSL suite and said hello to the winners of an IWSL/Red Stars season ticket promotion.
* Hung out with old friends after the game in the suite, in the north lot and then at Beefy's until we were kicked out at closing time.
More days like that would be good.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Sorry i've taken a break from posting lately. Am in the middle of a very busy stretch. In the meantime, check out the first blog post ever by Chicago Red Stars Director of Ticket Sales Greg Zaskowski.
Greg and i worked together for 4+ years at the Chicago Fire and i'm very excited to be working with him again. In the post, he provides some insights to the Red Stars organization and shows the competitive nature that's at the core of every successful salesman.